We all have some kind of Social Media posting schedule…..at least, hopefully we do! It’s great to come across real strategies that anyone who is doing social media marketing can put in place right away (even if there is no team of people helping out). How many of us read about social media strategies that seem too big to implement and perhaps even risky because they would take too much time, money and energy?
I want to share with you a strategy that any small business can implement right now. It’s a strategy that might not work overnight but over time, it will be a definite winner.
Here’s why it works. It’s because of the…
The “I Want One Too” Mentality
With or without social media, we’ve always lived in a world of, “I want one too”. It’s all about wanting what other people have. We learned it at a young age when a friend had the exact toy that we wanted, right? And as young adults, it only continued to be more of the same (perhaps worse). Now, as adults and the social world we live in now, holy crap, other people dictate our wants and needs all the time. I am sure you can think in less than 5 minutes of something you saw on social media that someone else posted that you would want to have immediately. Whether it’s a piece of clothing, or a gadget, or a tool or heck, even a vacation spot!
It’s almost like it’s natural human behavior to look at what others have, and what others are doing to validate what we want and what we should be doing. This is especially true with SPECIFICALLY buyer behavior. It’s almost like you can’t really sell a product, or even a place to eat these days without having an unsolicited audience NEEDED to back you up to say you are great.
Smart businesses can use this reality we live in to their advantage. As I said above, the strategies here can be implemented by anyone – even without a huge budget and without an entire team behind you….although, it’s always nice if you do have some help sorting everything if you can manage hiring someone to help you.
One of the reasons why this strategy works so well is because you are not really doing anything. HA. Let me explain. What the strategy entails is your customers and fans doing the marketing for you! Obviously, before we get into it, this strategy is just a piece of the whole social marketing puzzle…meaning this will not all work on its own and you need to be continuing your other social media efforts.
With that said, I am going to be sharing with you 4 ways on how you can make this method work for you.
The 4th way is going to be the easiest way – but don’t skip ahead and cheat!
4 Ways Your Customers Can Help You With Your Marketing
1) Have People Send In Pictures
Small and big businesses are using this strategy now more than ever. I noticed this on a very small scale on Facebook and I thought it was genius. There was a self published author who handed his book out at a conference and people were posting pictures of themselves either reading the book or standing with the book and holding it up and tagging the author. What incredible social power and proof! Since the marketer was a fairly big name in the industry, the message reached a ton of people. Remember the “I want one too” feeling? Well, that’s what was happening. People were asking what that book was and where they could get it.
Here’s What You Do:
Ask your customers to send in picture of themselves with your products or whatever it is you want to showcase about your business. Customers will be happy to do this, especially if they are getting rewarded for it (which we’ll talk about in a bit). People will jump at the opportunity to take that selfie to make you and their friends smile. You just need to make it possible for them to do that.
To use a huge brand example, look at what Coke is doing:
The point is that people are going to keep coming back to check if Coke has a picture of them posted on their website. Which leads me to another point…just because this is a social media strategy, don’t neglect your website! Don’t forget the entire point of social media is to create brand awareness, and most importantly drive traffic and sales to your products and services. Most of the time, those product and services are listed where???Ding Ding Ding, on your website! Don’t forget to incorporate your website in the mix of everything you are doing.
Look at what Zappos does:
Zappos posts pictures of their “Fan of the week”. You get what’s going on here right? It’s not very hard to implement something like this that 1)happens on a consistent basis (like every week) and 2) involves your customers!
Some companies have this so ingrained in their customers’ heads that it’s almost a ritual to check these sites, just likes it’s a ritual to watch our favorite series on tv when the show is on.
Lastly, take a look at what Dunkin Donuts did with a combined strategy during Shark Week:
In honor of Shark Week, the Discovery Channel has teamed up with Dunkin Donuts and launched a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter campaign. People are asked to take a selfie while biting into their favorite Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwich, and upload it with #DDSharkWeek. Participants gain the chance to win their photos shared on both ‘Shark After Dark’ and the Dunkin Donuts billboard in Times Square, a shark week prize pack, and a $100 Dunkin Donuts gift card.
Notice the hashtag strategy….hint, using hashtags works with this effort as we’ve seen here.
2) Written Testimonials and Stories
We’ve all of course heard of testimonials and you can certainly ask your closest customers to write you a written testimonial whether it’s through an email or, even better, if they post it publicly on social media or a review site. However, what’s even more powerful than a testimonial is a personal story that, in essence, has a built in testimonial. If someone can share a personal story about your product or service that is way more powerful.
This could work for both online and offline products. If it’s an online product, maybe it’s a success story where someone was on their last $500 and they invested in your course and is now doing great and out of debt. Or maybe it’s a massage therapy business where someone had horrible neck pain every day but now the pain is gone because they used your services. You get the gist here. Personal stories are relatable. As humans, we are drawn to the background story behind the testimonial. Get your customers to share their stories.
When you get any kind of nice letter in writing, be sure to have somewhere you are saving these. They are always good to showcase. If you are looking for a place where people can write in socially – check out this post on Facebook Reviews.
3) Video Testimonials and Stories
This is the same concept as the written testimonials and stories, except that it’s in the form of video. Videos plus stories makes it real. It puts a real person behind the story which makes it more impactful.
4) The Easiest Method
Ok – so now we are up to the easiest method. I asked you not to cheat and look at this one first and I hope you listened! The easiest way to obtain the first 3 on this list is to get the customer to take a picture or do a video testimonial when you have them right in front of you! Again, this works for both online and offline businesses.
With online businesses it could be a bit tricky, but still can be done. If you are on a coaching call with someone, you can get them to record something for you. This method works even better if you go to a live networking event and you get people to do a testimonial or take a picture with you or take a picture holding your book or product in their hands and showcasing it with a happy smile. It’s really easy to ask people to do this at live networking events because that’s essentially why people go to these events – to connect with product owners, meet authors, shake hands and get their friggin pictures taken! This really means that you should be going to live events at least once a year if you can!
If you have an on sight brick and mortar business this is ultra simple. Just pull out your smart phone or whatever device you have that takes pictures and videos. Ask the person if they would be comfortable making a statement on video, and if they aren’t just take their picture…that will work fine too.
When someone is standing right in front of you, it’s hard for them to turn you down. Also, it’s easier just to get it done rather than wait for them to getting around to doing it themselves.
How To Ask People For What You Want
When it comes to favors, especially when asking customers for something, many people will be happy to just do the favor while many people will need a little incentive.
Don’t worry, many people will do it without needing something in return, but the fact is that people love rewards and freebies so it’s only fair that you come up with something that gives back.
Anything you come up with to provide an incentive for your fans will only help you in the long run. Be cleaver about it but don’t implement something to the point where it might hurt you or make you lose money.
Perhaps the customer:
- gets something free
- gets a discount
- gets an add on product or service
You need to come up with something that will reward the customer while at the same time it’s benefiting you. It’s always got to be a win-win situation for this to work.
You can also consider rewarding certain fans over others. For example, giving major perks to customers with fans of their own of over a certain amount (like over 10,000 fans). Be careful with this strategy as you don’t want to exclude others who lack as many followers. The point is that you can take this any way you want…possibilities are endless!
Also, it doesn’t have to be every customer who participates gets a reward. Perhaps it’s a “weekly winner” like the examples we saw above. The incentives will be different for all business types. Come up with a plan and implement it and see its effectiveness. We already know the strategy works.
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